The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kermit Staggers endorses Medical Cannabis

DDC, a Foruminant extraordinaire, attended the IM13 rally at Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls Monday afternoon. He sent this photo of Kermit Staggers in the act of endorsing 13. Staggers, as you likely don't recall, was tagged by Gordon Howie as his running mate in Howie's short-lived gubernatorial campaign. Kermit asked me on three occasions to address his government class at Sioux Falls University. I never could figger out that Howie deal.

DDC was also diligent and kind enough to transcribe Staggers' Monday evening speech and send me the text, which follows:

There are a number of things I want you to be aware of in my presentation. I want you to be aware that I do not smoke, and I do not have the desire to smoke. I do not drink alcoholic beverages, and I do not desire to drink alcoholic beverages. I've never smoked marijuana, and I have no desire to smoke marijuana. I've never taken illegal drugs, and I have no desire to take illegal drugs.

The reason I am at this rally for Initiative 13 is for very personal reasons. I'm not here for abstract reasons. I'm not here for theoretical reasons. I'm here for very personal reasons, and that very personal reason is I have somebody who is very close to me who suffers from constant pain. This has been going on for six years. Each day, this person is in pain. Each hour, this person is in pain. Each minute, this person is in pain. And, of course, each second of every day, this person is in pain.

Now, for those of you who have other people here you're aware of that's in pain, you probably realize that pain can really wear a person down. Really wear a person down. In fact, this person is probably disabled. Now, I should also mention too that this person takes prescription drugs and that one of the drugs is a narcotic. A prescribed, legal drug. And also many other drugs to try and recover from the pain.

So, the question has to arise; If this person is already taking heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty prescription drugs, what is wrong with this person being allowed to try marijuana to see if it can provide some relief?

Now, as a matter of fact today I was talking to an opponent of Initiative 13 and I told this individual this very personal story of mine and this individual responded kind of interestingly. This person said “Well, if I was in the shoes of that person and suffering all this pain, you know what I would do? I'd just go ahead and smoke marijuana illegally anyway.”

Well, this person I know that is suffering in pain is not about to break the law. No way. But this person hopes the law can be changed with Initiative 13.

And so, in conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to possibly make this happen.

Newland note: Gordon Howie used almost exactly the same words, in a conversation with me, as in Staggers' quotation of "an opponent of 13" a few lines above.


Bill Fleming said...

It's not easy being green, right Kermit?


DDC said...

Kermit gave a great heart-felt speech. You could hear the compassion and conviction is his voice.

I would think that he would be able to bring over some conservatives to support IM 13.

I really wish the audio on my video was have been bearable to listen to.

There was someone with an IM 13 sticker that was taping the rally with some pretty nice gear, so maybe there's a video with some good audio out there somewhere.